Overhyped - More of the Same, Maybe Even Less
While many will jump on the bandwagon and say this game is perfect and the best ever. To a veteran gamer like me, there's nothing really special here.
It's similar to the other GTA's in the series, but with a new storyline and characters. I'm going to go ahead and say they took a step back and removed a lot elements that made past GTA games memorable and fun. You can no longer purchase houses or apartments (online only). This would not be a big deal if there were a lot of buildings you could go into or interact with. Can't do police rampages, ambulance side missions, or even firetruck missions. The side missions in this game feel like they were just added in with no real urgency or incentive to play/complete them. There's parachuting, golfing, tennis, hunting, racing (bike, vehicle, boat, airplanes), some extracurricular activities (triathlon), darts, observing (strip-club) and...that's about it. Graphics look good for the most part, but there are some bad textures (ground textures) that make the game look like last gen. Even the radio stations and the music in this game are awful; bad selections, very boring, and the worse in the series.
The story in this game keeps you engaged and entertained for the most part. The three endings were disappointing. The last heist mission especially was a huge disappointment considering the other ones were significantly better making you believe the last one would be the epic grand finale. It's not. Overall, the story starts off slow, gets interesting in the middle then ends on a low note.
Other things to note, the physics and mechanics in this game are good. They are much improved from GTA IV, especially the driving. They aren't as realistic (car damage is gradually). The customization...well, they're not groundbreaking; in fact, GTA San Andreas had more customization option for clothes, haircuts, and car mod options. Franklin has the most options of the three characters in all three categories. There are even more on the online portion for your created character.
The Online portion - I've played a good 72 hours and leveled up to 42 with my character. I've did everything the online portion has to offer from racing with bikes, cars, planes, to missions to deathmatches and survival to golfing and parachuting. I have to say, it gets pretty boring really fast because of the repetitiveness of each mission/activity. It feels like you're doing the same thing over and over again alone or in a crew. Money is incredibly difficult to make (large amounts) and everything is very expensive (overpriced). Tattoos range from 5,000 on up and you only make about 1 to 3 thousand per mission. Apartments are 80,000 on up which will take you awhile to achieve. The high end apartments range from 200,000 to 400,000 and are all the same with no differences except window views.
Overall, I've played the story mode twice choosing option A the first time then option B the second(no significant difference - same outcome) alternating between good crew members and bad crew members. I completed all the missions including side missions for each character, finding all spaceship parts, letter scraps, under the bridge, jumps, etc. The online mode is repetitive and boring. I really felt this game was a huge disappointment considering how much potential it had in becoming 'the best game ever.' In the end, it's the hype that carries this one with nothing new or innovative, but more of the same.Read full review